Note: I’m back! Did you miss me? I have a few things to talk about before going into the review: 1.) I’ve added a new category: Middle Grade! Those are for the books that aren’t YA, but aren’t exactly Children’s, either, such as this book series and Ordinary Magic. 2.) I’m still in danger of running out of book reviews, so I might have to go on another short break. However, I’m almost done with the next Series Week, so that will be up soon and will run for two weeks, since the series I’m doing has 13 books in it. After that, I’ll have to see how frequently I can post, but for now, I still intend to update every Tuesday. That’s it; on to the review!
Physik is written by Angie Sage. It was published in 2007 by Katherine Tegen Books. It is the third book in the Septimus Heap series. Sage’s website can be found here and the Septimus Heap fansite can be found here.
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
“When Silas Heap unSeals a forgotten room in the Palace, he releases the ghost of a Queen who lived five hundred years earlier. Queen Etheldredda is as awful in death as she was in life, and she’s still up to no good. Her diabolical plan to give herself everlasting life requires Jenna’s compliance, Septimus’s disappearance, and the talents of her son, Marcellus Pye, a famous Alchemist and Physician. And if Queen Etheldredda’s plot involves Jenna and Septimus, then it will surely involve Nicko, Alther Mella, Marcia Overstrand, Beetle, Stanley, Sarah, Silas, Spit Fyre, Aunt Zelda, and all of the other wacky, wonderful characters…”
“Jenna could bear it no longer. She hurtled down the steps and arrived in the Robin Room just in time to see Septimus spring back from the Glass, slip on the shiny marble floor and fall. As he scrabbled to get up and away, Jenna screamed. Reaching out of the Glass were two old, wizened hands. With long bony fingers and curved yellow nails, they snatched at Septimus’s tunic, grabbed hold of it, then wrapped themselves around his Apprentice belt, dragging him toward the Glass. Frantically Septimus tried to pull away, kicking out at the clutching talons.
“Jen! Help, Je—” he yelled, and then there was silence. Septimus’s head had disappeared into the Glass as though sinking into a pool of ink.”
“Bookbinder!” Marcellus snapped his fingers impatiently as he surveyed the Chamber in search of the missing craftsman. “Pray, you dullards and dolts, where hideth you the Bookbinder?”
“I hideth not, Your Excellency,” a voice quavered from behind Marcellus. “For surely, I be here. Even as I have so stood upon these close stones these last four hours or more. Indeed, I was here then and still I be here now.”
Recommended Age Range: 12+
What I Liked:
Remember my worries in my review of Flyte that DomDaniel would become a recycled villain? Well, I am happy to report that I was wrong. There is no sign of DomDaniel in this novel, and the villain is not nearly as ridiculous or comical; she’s actually quite sinister.
The old language used in parts of the book is really hilarious. It’s hard to read sometimes, but Sage uses it for some great comedic affect.
There was a lot that happened at the end of the book, and it didn’t wrap up quite as neatly as the first two had; it was more open-ended and more representative of a book in a series. It left more plot to wrap up in the following books, which I think is a good thing, especially since this is a series. It wasn’t a cliffhanger by any means, but it’s good that there are some things that still need to be resolved.
Septimus’s character development was very good and very realistic considering his circumstances. I like him more and more each book. Also, Spit Fyre is awesome.
What I Didn’t Like:
Jenna can be a little annoying at times. I’m not quite sure what it is; maybe it’s just plain old ten-year-old brattiness. Most of the time she’s fine, but at some points I was sick of her.
The villain is a lot more sinister than the ones in the previous books, but there is still a bit of ridiculousness to her that undercuts the villainy. Granted, it is a book for younger readers, as I’ve mentioned before, and I’m used to books geared for older readers with villains that are more developed and nuanced.
Sage once again delivers. Physik is the best Septimus Heap book in the series so far, with great character development, great humor, and a very cute, very awesome dragon. There are a few minor issues that I had, but they were mostly because of the younger audience for whom the book is aimed.
Coming Up Next: Queste by Angie Sage